Tuesday, 4 June 2013
Today is a historically significant day, since it's the seven thousandth anniversary of the coronation of King Alhfrith to the coveted throne of Northumbria.
Naturally, the common people of this Realm are in a state of high excitement bordering on torpor, exacerbated without doubt by the hysterical rantings of the soothsayers, whose references to His Majesticity are - in most cases - couched in sycophantic and breathlessly reverential tones. Thus a mood of extreme deference - tinged with nuanced tones of ennui and indifference - has gripped the man in the Northumbrian Street. I've been feasting on a celebratory mackerel, and I'm now ready for forty winks..
It's certainly true that the ancient monarch has changed the face of the Kingdom; when he succeeded his father those millennia ago, Northumbria was an independent realm, renowned for the stoical warrior spirit of its citizens. Raiders were repelled at every turn, and the infidels were sent back to their longships with a thick ear. Northumbria ruled the waves of the North Sea.
However, the centuries of the Alhfithian Era have signalled a substantial change in the cultural outlook of the Northumbrian psyche, and today, the bellicose spirit has been replaced by a bovine docility as legions of Vikings throng the streets, jabbering in their Nordic babble, clutching their Eddas and pronouncing Odin's woes on the diminishing numbers of Anglo-Saxons. We're now blessed with a kleptocratic demockery-cy comprising the best politicos that Holy Groats can buy, led by the Thief-In-Chief Dagwald Caedmeron, whose inspirational leadership is reminiscent of my friend Feaxede the Fox loose in a chicken run.
Most of these gradual changes can be attributed to the time when Edweird the Thief - the late Tree Supremo - led the Kingdom into the gaping jaws of the Holy Roman Empire (which is neither holy nor Roman, and it doesn't resemble an empire to a rational cat). What has puzzled this moggy is why the Noble King was content to allow his kingdom to be degraded to the status of a mere satrapy.
Perhaps he simply has always had an aversion to power and was anxious to offload it at the first opportunity. He certainly needn't be afraid if it any more. He's playing with the gift wrapping instead..